February letter of the month: Gov. DeSantis and education — public and private | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis [ WILFREDO LEE | AP ]
Published Mar. 5

February letter of the month: Actions speak louder

Editor’s note: The February letter of the month reacted to the story “10 times that Ron DeSantis changed Florida education.”

An often-overlooked aspect of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stream of dicta about education, from banning books to talk of eliminating Advanced Placement courses, is that they affect only public schools. He has no control, thus far, over what private or religious schools do. They can continue to have full libraries and a full slate of AP offerings. Discerning parents who want to get the best in education will take the $8,000 per child now offered by the state and choose a nonpublic school. If DeSantis’ motives are truly deeply held beliefs, then he needs to go one step further and deny a single cent of state money, such as vouchers, to any school that harbors forbidden books or offers forbidden courses. My guess is he won’t do it.

Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg

Get serious on Social Security

When will Social Security sunset? | PolitiFact, March 1

It would be great if we could start having a factual discussion on the financial longevity of Social Security as currently structured and financed. My children and grandchildren deserve some resolution to the probable changes that will have to be made soon. No politician is currently addressing this monumental issue. More senior citizens, fewer workers to pay Social Security taxes, and more money going out than coming in. It cannot last too much longer like this, it seems.

Donald R. Prahl, St. Petersburg

Why permit this?

Permitless carry is a bad idea, says suspended Hillsborough state attorney | Column, March 1

To legally drive a motor vehicle in Florida, you need a license. Car, motorcycle and commercial licenses are separate tests and endorsements. This is to evaluate your ability to operate certain vehicles safely. Why shouldn’t guns require a registration and a competency test and possibly different licenses for handguns, long guns and semi-automatic guns? They require different levels of skill and knowledge to use. If I don’t need a permit for a gun, why should I need a license to drive a car?

Dave Hinz, Clearwater

Not free to be free

A look at new DeSantis book | March 1

Oliver Wendell Holmes once described President Franklin D. Roosevelt as having “... a second-class intellect but a first-class temperament.” Given the sad state of governance in Florida, the distinction is worth revisiting. There is no gainsaying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ intellect. Unfortunately, it is sabotaged by his temperament, which resembles a particularly precocious 14-year-old boy. (He shares this trait with more than one other political figure who calls Florida home.) Take his “anti-woke” agenda. With crises in Florida ranging from housing costs to insurance to sea-level rise, DeSantis is more concerned with our children being “indoctrinated.” This, of course, is exactly what he wants — as long as he is the one doing it. Thus, any idea he finds offensive — and there are plenty of them — is demonized as “cultural Marxism.”

Spend your days with Hayes

Spend your days with Hayes

Subscribe to our free Stephinitely newsletter

Columnist Stephanie Hayes will share thoughts, feelings and funny business with you every Monday.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

DeSantis believes that the road to “The Freest State in America” is to deny freedoms fought for over decades to marginalized populations so he can grandstand for the MAGA crowd. But the “Again” in MAGA implies that in some wonderful past, there was that Shining City on a Hill for all of us to share. Only thing is, DeSantis has no intention of sharing it. Worse: More than half of Florida seems to agree.

Buck Beasom, Tampa

Wake up to what’s happening

Fla. law traps family in grief | Feb. 20

So this is how we choose to treat women and families in the “Free State of Florida”? This is certainly not the first example of a tragic situation that women and families are forced to go through because of cruel, thoughtless and archaic laws that are forced on us by uncaring, short-sighted politicians who cave to the religious right. Why should religious beliefs that we do not share have the power to interfere with our freedom, our health care, our futures and our very lives? How can it be OK for the state to rob women of their ability to live free of physical and mental pain and the financial strains of forced pregnancies? When are the voters of Florida going to get “woke” to what is happening to us here? I believe that the so-called “Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality” law needs to be renamed the “Permission to Torture Women” law.

Vivienne Handy, Wimauma